ANIMAL ALERT :


Robben Island 01 1215602221The Robben Island museum management have announced that they will be closing the popular tourist site for 17 days in November (1 to16) while thousands of rabbits are culled on the island.


The Robben Island Museum’s Acting Chief Executive, Seelan Naidoo, said that the exact number of rabbits was unknown, but “the current population is so large that it threatens to permanently damage the island’s sensitive vegetation, and poses a serious threat to other fauna species.” In order to preserve this World Heritage Site in honour of Nelson Mandela the rabbits would have to be“culled.”


The Robben Island Museum Management has angered environmental and animal rights groups with previous plans to cull deer and feral cats on the island. Now it would appear that, having decimated the cat population, they are facing an inevitable rabbit population explosion.


IMG 0905Some authorities estimate that there are more than 10,000 rabbits on Robben Island. The Robben Island museum management claim that they intend to “lure the rabbits into cages with food and then euthanise them.” Those who cannot be captured will be shot. The question is, if these rabbits are to be captured, why not sterilize and then release them?


When the management had sought to justify the culling of feral cats on the island, they had announced their concern that the cats could be a threat to the sea bird population. Now, it would appear that the rabbits were the primary source of food for the feral cats, and not the sea birds. The rabbits were first introduced onto Robben Island in 1656.


Numerous animal rights groups have pleaded for the museum management to consider having the excess rabbits captured and relocated to national parks such as the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Surely many Capetonians would be ready to adopt rabbits as well? Animal Welfare organisations, farm, guest lodge and animal sanctuary owners have come forward to offer to accommodate the Robben Island rabbits.p413095-Cape Town-Penguins Waiting


It is deeply distressing that this government, which seems so incapable of dealing with violent crime, has shown extraordinary energy when chopping down millions of trees, and killing thousands of animals.


“How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4


In the last two decades Cape Town has seen local government energetically killing mountain goats (tahrs) on Table Mountain, deforesting huge sections of the Peninsula, and now, in the wake of killing the cats on Robben Island, planning to kill 10,000 rabbits.


The Scriptures describe the problem of those destructive elements in government who have left deforestation and devastation in their wake: “They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned to fear God…everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.” Romans 3:15-17, 23


We must recognise that the welfare and protection of animals is an essential part of our Christian responsibility. All animals belong to God (Psalm 24:1). “All the animals in the forest are Mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are mine and all living things in the fields.” Psalm 50:10-11


We are answerable to God for our treatment of animals. “A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.”Proverbs 12:10


In the light of the clear teaching of Scripture concerning Creation and mankind’s responsibility and stewardship for it, we should treat animals with the love and concern of those who must give an account of our conduct to Almighty God on the Day of Judgement.


No Christian should be a party to evil abuse of God’s Creation. We must do all that we can to secure the well-being of all animals who, with ourselves, inhabit God’s Earth, and so fulfill the creative joy and purpose of Almighty God.


Please mobilise your friends and family to protest against the government’s plans to slaughter thousands of rabbits on Robben Island.


Write letters to the Editor of your favourite newspaper or magazine, phone, e-mail and write to your elected representatives in Parliament (P.O. Box 15, Cape Town, 8000, Web: www.parliament.gov.za ). Contact the Mayor’s office (Mayor's Office, Private Bag X9181, Cape Town, 8001, Tel:021-400-1300, Fax: 021-400-1313, E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Contact the Department of Nature Conservation ( Ms. L. G. Madlala, Department Secretary, Tel.031-907-7664, Fax: 031-907-7190, E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), the Ministries of Tourism and Culture (Spokesperson for the Minister: Mr Sandile Memela, Tel:012-441-3563, Fax: 012-441-3472, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Request their urgent intervention to stop this senseless slaughter.


“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.” Proverbs 31:8


Visit www.thebibleandanimals.org for further resources and updates.


Yours for all God’s Creatures

Dr. Peter Hammond


Contact details for Prayer and Action: 
Robben Island Museum Management team: 
Chief Executive: Seelan Naidoo 
Robben Island Museum, Private Bag, Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400 
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel:021-409-5100, Fax: 021-411-1059 
You can also send an e-mail online at: www.robben-island.org.za/contact


SPCA
Chief Executive: Allan Perrins (who has “reluctantly” supported the culling) 
National Council of SPCA 
P.O. Box 185, Silverton, 0127 
Tel:012-803-5219       
Fax: 012-803-5775 
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Enquiries:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Capenature: lbrink&capenture.co.za 


Newspapers: 
Cape Times 
Tel:021-488-4911       
Fax: 021-488-4717 
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.capetimes.co.za

Argus 
Tel:021-488-4911       
Fax: 021-488-4762 
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.capeargus.co.za/index.php

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